Growing up he had this dream…to be a millionaire…

He’d live in a beautiful house, 

drive a fancy car 

and have wealth beyond compare.


He’d skate through a life of happiness, never wear a frown

There’d be no reason to be sad…for he’d be the richest man in town.


Then he grew up, got married…suddenly…lo and behold

with a family that was growing he put his initial dream on hold.


With these new responsibilities came some apprehension and some doubt

Now a healthy, happy family was all he dreamed about.


Then something wonderful happened…for as his family grew

he looked around and realized…his simple dream came true.


He looked around and realized…he was a millionaire

He had friends, a beautiful family and and love beyond compare.


And today he skates through a life of happiness…

he never wears a frown

after all has no reason to be sad…


for he’s the richest man in town.

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There is an excitement when we get together with family and friends

nothing can compare…

with the joy seen on our faces 

with the laughter that fills the air.


One of the things I like most is when we’re all sitting around…and then

someone begins a conversation with the words…’remember when’…


As they show up in a whisper…or enter on a shout

they knock on a door within our heart and invite our memories out.


Because following every ‘remember when’….everyone sitting there 

will add their own perspective to a memory we share.


And before you know it ‘remember when’s’ are tossed out like beads in a parade

we raise our hands and catch them as they soar

we smile as we drape them ‘round our necks 

and eagerly wait for more. 


I suppose we don’t think about it much…

how lucky is the family…who

have made a multitude of memories that they can rummage through…


on an evening when they come together…around a table…in a den

and for a while share some smiles…

and some laughter…

as they remember when…


And when the house is empty…

enveloped in silence once again

we wonder 

at what point…

this night…

will become it’s own


‘remember when’.

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As parents…regular and grand we’ve come to understand

We live a life of schedules…where so much of it is planned.


Yet with our aging eyes we still can recognize

moments of perfection…when they arise.


To us it is quite clear…with friends and family near

we need to enjoy these moments…before they disappear.


Our youngest grandchildren came to stay…one night while their parents were away

and we were amazed how many moments of perfection came our way…


Picking up the two…once their day at school was through

singing songs with the radio like we used to do.


To the music we ‘got down’…(do people still say ‘getting down?)

a breezy ride in our golf cart…then a walk downtown.


It seemed just like a dream…we watched the full moon gleam

we played Wii games…ate tacos and ice cream.


Like we did when they were small…we watched a movie…we were enthralled

knowing why…still wondering…when did they get so tall?


Now seeing eye to eye…with a simple hug goodbye

we smiled at our good fortune and we sighed…


Because here’s another thing…learned on the back of life’s fleeting wings

perfection can be found in the simplest of things.


This is why we understand…though different for every woman…every man


these perfect moments…we need to catch them when we can.

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The older we get the more our family spreads out…that’s the way it’s supposed to be

for that is the nature of family…its intention…its destiny.


Time and space make it more difficult…we need to compare schedules…we need to plan… 

Which is why we learn to cherish moments…and grab them when we can.


So when our daughter called and asked if we wanted to pick peaches…

We did not hesitate….

“Tell us where to meet!” we said. “Give us the time and date.”


And so there we were part of our family…the part that was here any way

out in an orchard pickin’ peaches…on a beautiful warm Spring day.


Peaches grow in little clusters…kind of like little families hanging on the tree.

Each peach is an individual with its own fate…its own destiny.


This one will be picked by a young girl…who can only reach so high

This one will end up on someone’ s cereal…this one in a cobbler or a pie.


I hadn’t thought much about it, but there in the orchard it occurred to me

just how much our family, any family, is like peaches on a tree…


We start out in little clusters…close together on one tree

and we each pick different paths leading to different destinies…


But unlike peaches families are blessed…this much I have learned

for once we leave the family tree…we have the ability to return.


For that is also a family’s destiny…perhaps its greatest…grandest design

to keep returning, creating moments, for our lives to intertwine…


And a question popped into my head…quickly floating in on the breeze

as we met up to say goodbye after pickin’ peaches off the trees…


I wonder: 

Does a family thrive in times like these coming together to share a moment…or two?

The answer came to me as quickly…


I’ll bet my peach pickin’ heart they do!

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He’s not sure exactly when it formed…can anyone ever be?

but they had a special bond…his grandmother and he.


She used to tell him he was her favorite grandson…that he was the most fun

even though, as they both knew, he was her only one.


And when his parents died…in an accident…unexpectedly

they were the only two people in the world…

his grandmother…and he.


“Try not to worry too much.” she said…as into his hand her hand slid.

“I promise I’ll take care of you.”…and that’s just what she did!


She became his mom and dad…and when all is said and done

he went from being her only grandson…to being her only son.


As age began to envelop her…one day to his surprise

she said, “Promise me you will be here the last time I close my eyes.”


“Of that you never have to worry.” he said as into her hand his hand slid.

“I promise I will be here.”…and that’s exactly what he did!


He was far away when he got the call…the doctor said she wouldn’t last

that she was asking for him…and could he get there…fast.


He drove as fast as he could…along the way…he cried

but he made it to the hospital in time…and he knelt by Grandma’s side.


“I knew you’d come she said to him.”…as a smile crossed her face

She raised up as he leaned down…and gently they embraced.


“We made a promise to each other.” he said, “when our two lives intertwined.”

“You kept your promise to me…and now I’m keeping mine. “


Grandma nodded then she whispered…”I love you son…goodbye.”

then she smiled, squeezed his hand and…for the last time…closed her eyes.


And a smile sneaked in through his tears that night…in bed…before he slept


as he marveled how two lives were made so beautiful by the two promises they kept.

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Some people believe happiness is a myth…of that assumption I have my doubts

for every day I am glad to discover so much to be happy about.


When I was young I’d secretly hope the day would never end

when I was outside playing in my neighborhood with friends.


or when seated around our table…talking non-stop…incessantly

eating, in between our words, with friends and family.


In my neighborhood, in my house…at my table…up a tree…

happiness was everywhere I went…it seemed to be following me.


and it continues to follow me today…with family, with friends…when talking,

when eating, playing, singing, dancing,…in silence or when walking.


In a mountain lake wildly swimming with family…I feel just as much elation

as when sitting quietly in a church for my granddaughter’s confirmation…


It is not a myth that happiness surrounds my heart…

allowing it to float carefree

or that each day it is more and more enhanced


by the people surrounding me.

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One day as we visited Grandpa and saw him sitting there

we thought it was probably the right time to buy him a new chair.


He’s sat in that one forever…when he moves around…it creaks

the cushions are uneven…and one arm rest is weak.


The stitching barely holds together…not much if it remains

and where Grandpa loves to lay his head…is permanently stained.


It’s time for a new one, we all thought, and we were so excited

knowing Grandpa was going to love it…knowing he would be delighted.


But it didn’t go quite as we expected…I guess our thinking was a little out of whack

because when he presented it to Grandpa…he said, “Thanks…but take it back.”


Then Grandpa smiled at the lot of us…and after letting out a sigh

sat back in his old chair and explained his reasons why.


This is the chair I was sitting in when you all first came to visit me.

This is where I held each one of you…where I bounced you on my knee.


This is where we watched TV together…where I put you on my lap

where after a day of playing whatever game you wanted…we’d sit down and take a nap.


This is where I’ve sat each Christmas watching the magic taking place

From here I’ve watched you all grow up…with a smile on my face 


From here I’ve smiled at your grandma…and wondered how she found a way

as we have both grown older…to look more beautiful every day…


Grandpa went on for a long time…(as Grandpa often would)

and well before he finished…we all understood.


So the next day we sat his new chair by the road with gentleness and care…

FREE, the note read, 

with one condition…


it must become a Grandpa chair.

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When our children are born we await all their milestones keeping an eye on their developmental clock

We don’t want to miss the first time they crawl, the first time they walk or they talk.


As they grow we’re amazed at how quickly they arrive at each new milestone

from riding a bike, heading off to school to driving a car of their own.


And we are thankful to witness each milestone…to be a part of that magical day

and glad as parents we have been blessed to be there every step of the way.


And sometimes our children have children…and as grandparents we still find a way

to experience some of their milestones…even if we’re not there every day.


Our youngest granddaughter was baptized in the ocean today… it was a wonderful sight to behold

and we felt blessed as grandparents to be there…watching another milestone unfold.


And it got us thinking about milestones…and it filled our hearts with pride

knowing when it comes to our family…we’ve been there…enjoying the ride.


We have reached many milestones in our own lives…and now watching our grandchildren grow…

it’s time for us to sit back…relax…and happily bask in their glow…


So as we watched today’s baptism conclude…in the sea neath a cerulean sky


We hope when the next milestone is reached…you’ll see the two of us standing close by.

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Last night we had a cookout…it didn’t take much skill

with some family and a friend…we threw some hot dogs on the grill.


We talked of many things…as we ate our hog dogs…charred

then sat around a campfire we lit in our backyard.


As the embers roared…we cooked marshmallows and made and ate s’mores

It wasn’t any different than we’d done a thousand times before…


And I wondered how Fate has given us this night…this wonderful little slice

where everything is perfect…could this be paradise?


And when the evening ended…the fire was out…we said good night

we lingered for a moment..in the aura of moonlight.


And I looked up and thanked the heavens…for this evening I was graced

If not with paradise’s entire meal…at least a little taste.


And as our family and friend waved goodbye and faded slowly out of view


I realized…every now and then…a little taste will do

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